What do newborn babies need? What should you put on a shopping list for a newborn baby? What should you register for?

Some friends of ours are having a their first baby. They are registering soon and were looking for advice on things you couldn’t live without. She asks:

“What should I definitely register for, and what can I skip? What is worth the extra money, and what isn’t? Do you have any recommendations on strollers, cribs or car seats?”

What We Used for Our Babies

Our registry was based mostly things recommended in the Baby Bargains book. It’s the best book ever! They have a good, better, and best recommendation for each category. They also tell you about things you won’t need. Overall, I found they were pretty close.

Here were some of the specific items we used for our babies.

Baby Gear

Car seat. We use the Graco Snugride for the infant seat, then a Britax Marathon for the convertible seat. We also get Cosco Scenara’s for plane travel and for in Grandma’s car; they are very inexpensive. Just remember, car seats expire after 5 years!

Strollers. The Peg Perego Pliko 3 is my favorite, but we also have a cheap $20 umbrella stroller which comes in handy often. We have other ones too, but those two are the ones that get used the most.

High chair. We have 3, my favorite is the Fisher Price Space Saver. It straps onto a regular dining room chair, and it’s easy to take to Grandma’s house.

Pack ‘n’ Play. Our kids slept in our room for the first couple months. The Graco Pack ‘n’ Play was perfect because it has a bassinet insert to sleep in for the first few months; you can avoid a pricey bassinet. In addition, it works well for traveling to hotels and Grandma’s house.

Baby Carrier. We have a baby wrap for use with newborns and a Bjorn for once they are a little older. However, I think the Bjorn was designed for men. I borrowed a neighbor’s Ergo and it was much more comfortable.

Baby Seating. We also have a swing, bouncy seat, and a Bumbo. We use them all, but the Bumbo is my favorite!

Furniture

All the furniture we selected was gender neutral, which was a good decision, since it will be used by our third baby shortly.

Cribs. Because our kids were close in age, we have two cribs. Both are child craft cribs. They’re one of the most highly rated and have a great safety record. In addition, when we had a broken piece after a year of use, their customer service was excellent in replacing it.

Mattress. We got a Colgate Classica I crib mattress for each child. However, make sure to shop around; you can find it for about half the price at various online retailers.

Nursery Furniture. We also got a glider and dresser for the nursery. But we purchased regular brands as opposed to “baby” furniture; it saved a bunch. It was easy to match the wood finish too.

Changing Table. We got an inexpensive one in the same wood finish as the crib and dresser. Once the kids are potty trained, the changing table is pretty much useless, so we didn’t want to spend a lot on a fancy one.

Bedding. Our first set of sheets were from The Company Store; they ripped. The next set came from Land’s End. They’ve held up really well. Besides the sheets and mattress pads, we didn’t purchase any other bedding. Babies can’t use blankets, pillows or any other bedding for safety reasons, so our kids slept in sleepsacks. In addition, you can skip the bumpers because, while they look cute, you have to take them out when the baby can start to move around.

Baby Butts

Diapers. We order Pampers Swaddlers through the subscribe and save program with Amazon. Once they get a little older, we switch to the Costco brand diapers.

Diaper Pail. The diaper champ is terrific! It’s much better than the diaper genie because you can use regular garbage bags instead of special inserts.

Other Baby Items

Feeding. One of the biggest money savers is nursing a baby. The milk is free and it’s great for the baby. I got a medela pump for when I went back to work with my boys. We also used Gerber GentleFlow Bottles because they were one of the first BPA free bottles at a reasonable price. My favorite nursing accessories were glamour mom tops and the hooter hider.

Clothing. To be honest, I didn’t even need to bother with clothes until the babies were almost two. Clothes seem to be a favorite baby gift both at a shower and when the baby arrives. Wait until you’ve gone through all the gifts to see if you even need to buy some clothes.

Miscellaneous. I took a stroll around my house to see which baby items I was forgetting. I found a diaper bag, toys and books, a monitor, baby wipes, a first aid kit, hoodie towels and washcloths, a bathtub, and a first aid kit.

Babies and Financials

If you’ve finished your registry, you can move on to the money aspect of a new baby. I mentioned various financial accounts for kids in Our Family is Expanding… and Checklist: Financial Strategies for Infants and Young Children.






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Comments to Shopping List for a Newborn Baby

  1. I say skip the changing table and the diaper pail. You can change the baby wherever you are, as long as you have a little mat underneath them. And as for the diaper pail, just drop the diaper in the bathroom pail and empty every night.

    Diaper bag, if you don’t care about fashion, wait and see if your hospital will give you one. We got one, and that’s what we used. It’s black, so both I and my hubby were able to use.

    Furniture, I agree 100% about buying “non-baby” furniture. They serve the same purpose and are often much cheaper. That’s what we did.

    Ifi

  2. I say buy the absolute minimum since the real expense of having children comes much later on; babies are cheap and need little.

    Stokke.com is a definite must, if only to be rejected. It has the most stylish nursery equipment and the best highchair on the market as far as I know. They also do strollers, of which I had two (non Stokkes) – a three wheeler for off road walking and a light, umbrella style one for town use.

    We used traditional sheets and blankets as opposed to sleepsuits, but I think I am the only person I know who did this.

    My girls are 17 months apart so we thankfully only needed one crib. And we ditched the strollers once our youngest turned two and 2 months precisely (house move). That seems to be young, but I think it was a reaction to seeing too many of them hanging around until kids start school; yuk!

    Carmen

  3. Carmen, actually we stopped using the stroller when daughter started walking… We then got an umbrella stroller, which has been used a handful of times. So 2 and 2 months is not that young :)

    Ifi

    Ifi

  4. If I could do it all over again, I’d NOT get a crib at all. I’d use a Pack ‘n Play with the built in (removable) full-sized bassinet (for the first few months), then after the bassinet stage, the child would get used to sleeping on the bottom of the pack ‘n play, it would be more flexible for going to anyone’s house either for a late night visit, or overnight (grandma’s). Since we did get a crib, we went straight to a single bed after that (no toddler bed) with some removable side guards.

    Mags

  5. I did not buy a bassinet or anything like that for my baby girl (she is 10 month old now). Instead I put her to sleep in the crib from day one (I wish I had taken a convertible one though, I can use it when she grows). I used sheets and blankets too for her since day one. The crib is right next to my bed so I can control her several times during the night. I don’t even dream of putting her to sleep in a separate room at this age so no nursery (she sleeps well during the night but i need to have her close to check on her without getting fully out of bed). I don’t have a baby carrier and I don’t keep her all day in my arms either, she loves to play with her toys on the floor.

    Lola

  6. Ifi,

    Good to hear that; it just seems rare these days. We also encouraged walking once they could. When we moved house and youngest was walking 2kms each way to nursery in the afternoons without a daytime nap, we realised we didn’t need it at all. Happy days! :)

    Carmen


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